I love oats. They are probably my favourite grain. I love them in bread, muffins, cookies as well as cooked for breakfast. If you browse through my blog, you’re going to find a lot of recipes using oats.
I especially love oats for breakfast. I think they make the most healthiest and filling breakfasts whether they are in granola or this recipe for porridge. When I make porridge, I don’t add any sweeteners. Instead I love to pile in loads of fruit. I use fresh fruit and berries in the summer, but in the winter when it’s hard to find fresh fruit or they are super expensive, I use frozen fruit.
My usual mix of fruit is mango, blueberry and sweet cherries, but one day I only had mango. So, I just used what I had and couldn’t believe how perfectly mango goes with oats. Who would have guessed? Traditional porridge is usually cooked with raisins and brown sugar and served with an extra splash of maple syrup. But the smooth sweet flavour of tropical mango balances so well with nutty tasting oats, it’s like they were meant to go together. And forget the added sweetener: mangoes are so naturally sweet, you won’t need any.
Different Types of Oats
Steel-Cut: These are also known as Irish or Scottish Oats and are the closest to their original grain form. The oat kernel is cut one or two times to help it cook. Cooking steel-cut oats can take between 15-60 minutes. They are nutty, chewy and very nutritious.
Rolled Oats: Whole Oats are toasted, hulled, steamed and then flattened with giant rollers. Rolled oats take about 15-20 minutes to cook.
Quick Cooking Oats: These are similar to rolled oats, but have been cut before being steamed and flattened so they cook quicker. Try sprinkling some in muffins or pancake batter to add an extra texture.
Instant: These oats cook very quick. They are cut, pre-cooked, dried, steamed and flattened. They cook super fast, but because they’re been processed so much a lot of their nutrition has been lost.
Oat Flour: You can make oat flour by putting rolled oats in a blender or food processor. They add a nutty flavour to baked goods, as well as making them more moist and crumbly. You can substitute up to 30% of flour in a recipe with oat flour. Try it the next time you bake some muffins and see how you like it.
Oat Bran: This comes from the outer layer of the oat kernel. Whole Oats always contain oat bran, quick cooking or instant oats do not contain oat bran as it has been removed. Oat bran is high in fibre and is often eaten as a hot cereal, sprinkled on cold cereal or added to bread, cookies and muffins for extra fibre.
Not only are oats delicious they are also super healthy. If you are also an oat lover, here are some cool nutrition facts about oats:
- oats are low in calories and they slow digestion which helps you feel full longer.
- 1/2 cup of oats has 150 calories, 5 g of protein, 27 g of carbs, 2 grams of fat and 4 grams of fibre.
- oats help prevent constipation as they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre.
- dietary fibres in oats decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting good cholesterol (HDL)
- oats contain enterolactone and other plant lignans which protect against heart disease.
- according to the American Cancer Society, lignan in oats also helps reduce the chances of hormone related cancers such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Enjoy cooking and baking with oats!
If you enjoy oats as much as I do, here is some additional reading:
A BBC Podcast on Oats
Stoats: A company focused on Oats
Baking with Oats
- 1/2 cup Whole Oats
- 1 cup Water
- Milk (or milk alternative)
- Unsweeneted Shredded Coconut (toasted)
Toast coconut in a dry pan for a few minutes until golden.
Add whole oats to pot and add the water.
Bring to a boil, and cook on a low simmer for about 5-8 minutes until oats are soft. If it starts to look too thick, add a bit more water until you have the consistency you prefer.
Add about 1/4 cup of milk or milk alternative. (optional).
Pour into a serving bowl.
Add sliced mangoes and toasted coconut on top.